01 Mar Our Map of Tassie
The Tasmanian leg of the family gap year has been officially done. Given it’s location, it’s unlikely that we’ll pass through there again now and so we can summarise our experiences. We came, we saw and we enjoyed, enjoyed it immensely actually. This could do to the fact that we were in Tasmania in the summertime; this could have been a vastly different summary had we been through during the colder, darker and wetter winter months.
It was what it is and is was summer. Even as QLD’ers, being used to higher temps, within a few days the temperature felt perfect with all but a handful of days being shorts and t-shirt weather. In fact after so many days of temperate weather, we actually enjoyed the one or two days of cold or wet; we even got a few flakes of snow on Mount Wellington one afternoon.
Approx. 8000kms. Places visited: Devonport, Launceston, Swansea, Freycinet Peninsula, Bicheno, St Helens, Binalong Bay, Derby, Richmond, Hobart, Carlton River, Dodges Ferry, Port Arthur, Fortescue Bay, Geeveston, South Cape Bay, New Norfolk, Mount Field, Strahan, Cradle Mountain, Mole Creek, Beaconsfield, Penguin and Sulphur Creek
Old Mac’s Farm, Eldee, Douglas River, Binalong Bay, Derby, Mount Wellington, South Cape Bay, Port Arthur, Freycinet, Left of Field, Sulphur Creek, Cradle Mountain
Costs – Accommodation
$480 (for 2 months). This is where Tassie beats out any other state in my opinion, there are free or low cost camping options everywhere. EVERYWHERE. Yes there’s the little matter of getting your rig across Bass Strait and there are a few dollars associated with that, but once you’re there you can spend next to nothing on accommodation if you are self-sufficient. In fact you can probably spend very little even if you aren’t.
And the locations are splendid. Once you pay your parks pass (get it on the boat for $50 – $100 depending on how long you are spending over there) you often pay nothing to stay/camp in the many National Parks Tasmania has to offer. And these are some of the most beautiful and pristine locations on the planet and you get them for free, well close enough to free. And there are loads of private camping options which are low cost and a brilliant way to learn about the local area and make some cracking friends at the same time (thinking of you Mick and Lou).
Do yourself a favour and get down under down under as soon as you can. It’s absolutely brilliant!
No suprises here, Tassie is a little more expensive than the mainland to eat, but it’s not horrendously so. Most of the time you’re in an IGA instead of a Coles, Woolies or Aldi, but they aren’t that much more expensive and in many cases they are actually cheaper. They seemed to carry a lot of local product and they often had a terrific gluten free variety on offer for Libby. For the experience, the extra cost was a non-event in our book.
Markets are big in Tassie as they are everywhere I guess, however we found some genuine markets with genuine local produce at reasonable prices. While Salamanca was huge and vibrant and nice (sense my tone here?), it wasn’t too different from any market I’ve been to on the mainland – quite a few stalls selling stuff you don’t need at grossly inflated prices. There is a great food selection and excellent vibe, but for the real Tassie go to the farmer’s markets where possible. Launceston and Bream Creek, with the latter being my favourite, are classic examples of great markets where every vendor, every product had a compelling story to go along with it and in turn a compelling reason to buy. Thumbs up Tassie for restoring my faith in markets.
Maintenance & Stuff
When in Tassie we were just starting out and needed stuff and things to make the remainder of this long journey comfortable. If Tassie was more expensive than Brisbane I certainly didn’t notice it. We did numerous hardware, camping, automative and caravan store visits whilst there and nothing appeared to be too much more than it would have been on the mainland. We got the first service on Larry the Landcruiser in Bicheno by a nice chap known as Boof (local mechanic and CFA chief) and it was one of the best services we’ve had and very cost effective when compared with Northern Australia.
So there you go, all in all Tassie is one cracking location to visit and we’d all give it the thumbs up for various reasons. Check out website’s photo album for all the pictures and accompanying stories.